"...When I see such a young man so far from America, playing the blues so well, I feel happy and proud that my mission in this life is done"
B.B. King - Dec. /98
"...Guitarist Big Gilson is poised to put Rio de Janeiro on the blues map. With the growling slide playing, and after seeing him live, you'll know that this is some hot bluesman. Not hot Brazilian bluesman, mind you, but hot bluesman period. This boy may hail from Rio, but he plays like he was born and raised in South Oak Cliff, and there is no higher testament a native Texan and lifelong blues freak can give.
John Nova Lomax - Music Independent Magazine, Houston-Texas.
"...The United States birthplace and home of the Blues has been invaded again by another bona fide "Blues Man" from a foreign shore: "Blues Man," not just a player of blues but a musician who demonstrates through his interpretation and musicianship that blues courses through his veins with every beat of his heart. This is a very solid project. Recorded live at the "Blue Note" in New York this project has none of the problems one typically associates with live recordings: It is clear, clean and balanced.
Picking a favorite from this ten-track project is difficult as I found something I liked in each track..."
The Delta Snake, by Michael Roberts
"...His slide playing is disturbingly vituosic..." - Tim Schuller - MET MUSIC - Texas - Dez. 99
..."This CD confirms Big Gilson as the best Brazilian blues guitarist" Jornal do Brasil - March / 99
"...Excellent guitar solos full of feelings and powerful slide playing. He's vibrato is super cool..." Guitar Player Magazine - February / 99
"... Good guitar work and nice slide..." Bruce Iglauer - Alligator Records - 96
"... Big Gilson was performing with great skills and feeling..." Héctor Alvarez Castillo - Diario Falseado, Buenos Aires, - Argentina - 2000
"...The crowd got crazy with the talent of this Brazilian guitarist, who had to sign lot of autographs after the show..." Mario Alomar - Diario Hoy En La Noticia - La Plata -Argentina - 2000
"...The king of the slide guitar..." A Tarde- Salvador, Bahia - 2001
"...Big Gilson is an excellent guitarist as well as a splendid slide guitarist and a fine song writer in addition. He plays a scorching electric slide. The live set contains great Big Gilson originals like "Cab Driver blues", "Hey Doc" featuring some vintage Big Gilson stinging slide guitar and very excellent instrumental "Tribute to Roy Buchanan". There is at times a "jam" feel to the recording, other times the band is very tight and solid. Either way, Gilson's guitar stays focused at the very center, though at times he is more than willing to share the spotlight with others of the musicians and vocalists.
Watch for great things to come in the future from this very fine artist..." Tom Branson (Bluesrockers)
"...You can't confine an artistic idiom, or creative spirit. Blues, the quintessential music form of the USA, reached across continents and seized Brazilian singer/guitarist Big Gilson. This CD features Gilson tearing it up at New York's hallowed Blue Note. He's backed by the Solid Senders, fronted by Washington D.C. harmonicist Bruce Ewan. You hear here is Gilson full-strength, with all the edge and immediacy the Blue Note audience experienced. Live at the Blue Note takes the listener through several phases. There's the funky beat and acidy slide of Gilson's trademark "Cab Driver Blues". There's Chicago-style blues on "Blue and Lonesome" and "I Got To Go", Little Walter tunes on which Ewan sings and blows harp. Ewan's pal Bobby Radcliff guests on the rockin' standard "Shake Your Moneymaker". Gilson's own "Hey Doc" is an aggressive shuffle with lengthy statements from Gilson and Ewan, the former offering seven full choruses of hot slidework.
On the first five he cooks, on the sixth and seventh, he's positively on fire. Something of a surprise is "Tribute to Roy Buchanan". His l'hommage to Buchanan is a high point of this heady, lively CD. The music's good and so is the message. This is cross-culturalism of an inspiring form. A workingman's musical form from the USA found its way to South America where it was embraced by a dedicated, open-minded musician, who honed his skills in the face of naysayers, and presently enjoys respect from blues communities in two nations. In other words, barriers ceased to be, as art, artist, and folk met on an agreeable common ground. If we could accomplish such melding in other matters in this geopolitical era, we would be on far firmer ground as a species..."
Tim Schuller - Dallas, Texas
Tim Schuller edited Music Hound Blues: The Essential Album Companion (Schirmer '02), and has written for Blues Access, Living Blues, Downbeat, the Dallas Observer, and other publications.